Over on the Sasha thread, Soogar posted a quote from Maria about her admiration for Sasha's skating, and especially her "soft edges." Since that thread is already overburdened, I will continue here instead.
Yes, that was a great interview with Maria in Spotlight on Skating. The exact quote about Sasha was:
SOS (Lynn Rutherford): "You have said that Sasha Cohen is the best skater competing today."
Maria B.: "I remember when I said that and I still like her very much. She's got beautiful soft edging, she is very flexible and her jumps connect with the music. But when we talk about her as a competitor, I must say that I always look at it in a negative way if a skater changes coaches often. If you run from one coach to another you never get good results...Cohen leaving Tatiana Tarasova and going to Robin Wagner and then going back to California is not helpful."
About the New Judging System, Maria says:
(I studied the new rules closely and) "I don't look at them as a positive, especially for the ladies. The beauty of ladies' skating is in the grace and elegance, and now there is too much attention paid to the level of the element. Even if a spin is not graceful, if you can put a level three on it, then it is fine. That is wrong. Our sport should be artistic and beautiful."
Her take on the 2002 Olympics:
SOS: "You had a very good season in 2002, when you defeated Slutskaya at the European Championships in Lausanne. Did you think that you had a good chance going into the Salt Lake City Olympics?"
MB: "No, I did not have a chance....The Olympics is not just sport, it is politics. The U.S. had only one gold medal possibilty, and it was in the ladies' event. The Russian Skating Federation never supported me and always helped Irina. I knew I had a chance at the Olympics if Irina made a mistake in her short program. Then the Federation would help me a little bit....(But) Irina had a clean skate and I was fifth...(with marks like 5.2!) At that moment I knew my Olympic dream was over."